2017 has been a turbulent year with a new President of the United States locking horns with an adamant leader of North Korea who dared to threaten the all-powerful America. The world was on tenterhooks expecting a confrontation at any moment, and the authorities tried to educate their people on precautions that they must take to minimize damages in case the nuclear attack became a reality.

Anyway, things could change if Russia agrees to play the role of a mediator. According to CNN, Kremlin has sent out feelers that Russia could involve itself in case the two countries agree to try out a diplomatic approach to bring back peace to the region.

Battle of nerves

Donald Trump took over as the 45th President of the United States in the month of January 2017 and Kim Jong-un carried out testing of his nuclear arsenal almost immediately. The first one of the year was on February 12. Subsequently, North Korea continued to test its missiles at regular intervals, and graduated from short range ones to medium ones and finally to the ICBMs.

Fox News reports that it tested its first ICBM on 4 July and the last one on 29 November when the regime announced that it had acquired the capability to target any location in the United States and carry out a nuclear attack. In between, on 3 September, it conducted an underground testing of its H-bomb. It also sent missiles flying over Japan which is an ally of America.

The United States also made its presence felt in the region. In order to reassure its allies, it carried out joint military drills and exercises with both South Korea and Japan. These added to the tension in the peninsula because the North interprets such activities as preparations for an invasion.

Will Russia step in?

The whole world is aware of the consequences of a nuclear attack.

Hence, both North Korea and the United States are stepping cautiously. The global community has slapped economic sanctions on Pyongyang to checkmate its plans to develop nuclear weapons. The latest round of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council would affect the remittances of the overseas workers of North Korea. Nearly 40,000 of them work in Russia, and the money they send back home is believed to be a sizeable amount.

Obviously, such a tense situation needs to be defused, and a Russian intervention would be a welcome move. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has expressed to a section of the media that a mediator could try to deliver results provided both the parties are willing to cooperate. In this connection, it may be noted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in favor of a diplomatic solution, and he feels the United States should take the lead.